While many companies are very much aware of the great need for ensuring that they upgrade their diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) efforts and initiatives, one of the biggest challenges they face is not knowing where to begin. The extensive problems relating to DEI are daunting, and figuring out where to start on that can be a serious challenge, especially when the pressure is high and the cost of failure is significant. People love to quote the adage that the only way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time, but somehow those people never suggest where to…


Over my years teaching business students at the undergraduate and MBA levels, and in my work as a consultant, I’ve done my share of career coaching. Admittedly, it also comes up a lot when I am at networking events and on LinkedIn, with people looking to score free advice from a pro. Some have come to me with no idea about what to do with their lives, some come to discuss a career change or personal/professional hurdle, while others came to compare two job offers. …


How long does it take you to pee?

Seriously. The next time you hit up the porcelain throne, hit a stopwatch. When you’re done, add maybe 30–60 seconds because you probably went faster knowing that you were being timed. Take a look at that number, and you realize that, had you taken an output break at the office, you likely wouldn’t even have gotten to the bathroom in that time. Then there’s the ritual of picking a spot, sometimes sanitizing the spot or arranging clothing so as to strike a pose that avoids contamination from public yuck, overcoming any performance…


Over the years, I’ve been asked a lot of questions about mentoring in the workplace. How to be a good mentor, how to be a good protégé, how to find a mentor/protégé, what a mentor should be doing, how often mentors should meet with their protégés, and the like. Many of these inquiries, however, come in the context of a company’s mentoring program, which makes the answers dependent upon the parameters and goals of the program. …


Lean times come to businesses. Whether because of an innovation flop, competition, politics, or assorted forms of force majeure, earnings may not be what CEOs and investors are hoping. As the financial belts tighten to weather the crises, the weather in the HR world can get cold enough to cause hiring freezes. Worse, some companies actually fire people in attempt to warm up their pockets. For some companies, this is an absolute necessity, and CEOs must tearfully (one would hope!) say goodbye to people they simply cannot pay. This is more common with small companies and businesses that run on…


A look at the business world reveals a graveyard of diversity initiatives that have failed to move the needle. Despite discussions happening all over the place, be they in boardrooms, social media, or the water cooler, it seems that very little has changed. Some of this is a function of the difference between diversity and inclusion, but a large part of it is because most of the diversity solutions are cosmetic and do not build a sustainable culture that includes diversity as one of its values.

Something to understand about any sustainable movement is that it is slow change, and…


I appreciate all of the questions I’ve gotten about my posts on Networking 101 and Networking with Alumni, most of which concerned what to do after making the basic connection at events or through the alumni network.

It’s important to keep in mind that your primary goal in networking is building a relationship that will last in the longer term. Sooner or later, we will all want to hit up our networks in the hunt for clients, employees, job opportunities, or information, but that’s only effective if the people who see those requests have some idea of who we are…


Almost anyone can give a good performance at an interview, which means one cannot always tell if a great interviewee just puts on a fantastic show or is genuinely as fantastic as it seems. Resumes and cover letters are gussied up to look reasonably perfect, so those also aren’t much of a clue. But, does somebody reputable vouch for them? This is a much better question, and it’s usually answered by a reference check.

Let’s get the obvious out of the way: if you call a recommended reference, you are going to get a good report. If you call someone…


In an interesting twist of the college schedule, I had the privilege of giving the BBA seniors in my capstone course their last-ever lecture in college. Knowing this, I decided to recap the most important things they learned in business school. (Part 1; Part 2)

Part 3: The Human Side of Business

Drucker was famous for saying that “culture eats strategy for breakfast,” but never underestimate the value of a healthy breakfast! Design your strategy in accordance with your sustainable and unique value proposition, but then make sure that the structure and culture you create for your company are consistent…


In an interesting twist of the college schedule, I had the privilege of giving the BBA seniors in my capstone course their last-ever lecture in college. Knowing this, I decided to recap the most important things they learned in business school. (Part 1; Part 3)

Part 2: The Core of Business and The Silver Rule of Business

Once you are consistently getting done whatever you need to get done, and framing your problems in solvable ways, it’s time to step back and look at the fundamental core of business:

The core of business is exchanging value for value.

At its…

Orin Davis

Self-actualization engineer who makes workplaces great places to work. PI at Quality of Life Lab (www.qllab.org). Consultant. Professor. Startup Advisor.

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